Monday, October 16, 2006

Music: With Mark Gersh

We host a lot of talented recording artists at my church (Woodmen Valley Chapel), but I've never been so completely enthralled by anyone - except Kim Hill - than I was this weekend with the Grammy-winning artist Mark Gersh. ( Review)
For a man with so many accolades and musical accomplishments, he is accessible, down-to-earth, and very personable. Backstage during services, I had the opportunity to chat with him and learn about his life and his experiences in big music. At that point, I didn't even know of all his accomplishments, but when I found out, I was struck by how humble he is.
Musically, he's an authority on how church music should be done. He did beautiful renditions of music we've overplayed that it always felt as if we were playing those songs for the first time. It gets even better - he gives the band total freedom to engage their instruments to their liking, as long as it fits musically. I went beserk on my bass guitar this weekend; in fact, I didn't even have sheet music because we all became non-conformist, playing by ear and from the heart more than anything. I'm sure everyone appreciated his criticing and arrangments - it was a truly amazing band experience.
He did his song "Breakdown" during the services, an emotional rollercoaster that spoke to many in the congregation.
It is for opportunities like sharing the stage with Christian recording artists that I'm inspired to continue to excel at my instrument and learn from these icons in Christian music. I feel blessed.

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